It’s always been hard to be an adolescent. But in today’s world, it is especially difficult. Social media and peer pressure are much help. Bullying is abundant; feelings of inadequacy can be real. Some teens may think that a cosmetic or plastic surgical procedure will make them happy, help them fit in or give them the self-confidence they need to face their world.
Approximately 236,000 cosmetic procedures were performed on teens between the ages of 13 and 19 in 2012, with more than 75,000 of those involving the nose, breast augmentation, tummy tucks and liposuction. The risks of these increasingly common procedures have not been empirically studied; additional research is needed for the more controversial procedures such as implants, genital plastic surgery, and liposuction.
Reconstructive surgeries which correct prominent ears and noses or cleft palates and lips benefit children and teens and are not considered controversial. However, the cultural phenomena of reality TV and the increasing pressures to conform to unrealistic standards of beauty combine to make it difficult to agree on what constitutes “normal.”
The teenage body is a work in progress, and that is one of the major concerns when it comes to adolescent cosmetic surgery. As girls mature and their weight fluctuates, the need for breast implants may diminish. The FDA has approved saline breast implants for women age 18 and older; silicone gel breast implants were approved by the FDA in 2006, but only for women age 22 and older. These restrictions reflect the FDA’s concerns regarding the risks of breast implants, and the ability of young patients to comprehend those risks. Teens are often oblivious to the long-term health consequences of smoking, tanning and other risky behaviors.
If you would like to know more about this topic or are dealing with a teen who is requesting a cosmetic procedure, call to schedule a consultation, today. These decisions are life-changing and permanent. Let us help you: (203) 435-6635.